Josh Philpot

Theology, the Church, and Music

Where do we find wisdom?

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Proverbs 8 is a beautiful passage of scripture, although it’s very difficult to interpret. One of the central questions in that chapter is, “where can we find wisdom?” Wisdom is personified in Proverbs 8 as elsewhere in the book and is presented by the author (Solomon, I believe) as an extremely attractive, beautiful woman—Lady Wisdom. So where does one find such an attractive woman? The chapter gives details about finding her and also about the the places where she can be found:

  1. She is “on the heights, beside the way” (v. 2a)
  2. She is “at the crossroads” (v. 2b)
  3. She is “beside the gates in front of the town” (v. 3a)
  4. She is “at the entrance” (v. 3b)
  5. She is “among the paths of righteousness/justice” (v. 20)
  6. She is “at the beginning of Yhwh’s way” (v. 22)
  7. When God established the heavens, she was there (v. 27)
  8. She is “beside him [God], like a master workman” (v. 30a)
  9. She is “before him [God]” (v. 30b)
  10. She is always “rejoicing in his inhabited world” (v. 31)

What can we conclude from this list? Two things: 1) “Wisdom”—Lady Wisdom—is with God, and 2) she is amongst us in the world.

These concepts obviously have to do with God’s presence. Wisdom, therefore, is much like the “angel of Yhwh” in the OT. Wisdom is “with” God (indeed, the personified wisdom is God in some sense), but also in the world at the same time. To grasp wisdom, taking hold of her, not forsaking her, loving her, and prizing her highly (Prov 4:5-9), is to partake in the presence of God himself.

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Written by Josh Philpot

December 12, 2013 at 8:00 am

Posted in Old Testament, Theology

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